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Female Hair Loss Information, Thinning Hair in Women, Thinning Hair Woman

Female Hair Loss & Thinning Hair in Women

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 30 to 40 percent of women in the United States will be affected by hair loss at some point in their life—and the numbers are increasing.

Hair loss in women comes in two types: permanent (which is the same as genetic hair loss or androgenetic alopecia), and temporary, (also known as telogen, which is transient or non-genetic).

dress up young woman

To understand the different reasons why women lose their hair, it’s important to know about the hair growth cycle. The average person naturally loses 40 to 100 hairs a day as part of the natural cycle of hair growth. On any given day, 85 percent of our hair is in the “Growth Stage” which is one of three stages our hair goes through. The Growth Stage can last from 2 to 6 years with hair growing an average of one-half inch per month. At the end of this point, our hair will enter a “Transition Stage” for one to two weeks and is then shed in the “Resting Stage”—which is when the 40 to 100 hairs lost per day occurs.

Baldness occurs when hair falls out but new hair does not grow in to replace it.

Permanent Hair Loss

There are three main reasons why women suffer permanent hair loss:

1) genetic predisposition,

2) aging (tied to menopause/changes in hormone levels), and

3) increased levels of endocrine hormones (particularly androgens, the male sex hormones).

Changes in the levels of the androgens (a male hormone) can affect hair production. For example, after the hormonal changes of menopause, many women find that their hair is thinning out, while facial hair is coarser. These changes are directly linked with an increase in androgen hormones and have been established by researchers as the culprit for genetic hair loss in both men and women.

Women have these “male hormones,” but in smaller amounts. When these amounts increase due to menopause, aging or other factors, it can cause what is known as genetic or female pattern hair loss. Besides an increase in androgens, many women might be more “sensitive” to the male hormone, even if it is in normal amounts.

Family history can be an indicator of whether or not a woman will suffer from some degree of genetic hair loss. Women with older mothers, aunts, and grandmothers with thinning hair are more likely themselves to have female pattern hair loss.

Female Hair Loss Patterns

Women do not lose hair the same way their male counterparts lose hair. In women, the frontal hair line will remain, but the hair loss will be observable as a general thinning of the hair on the top and front of the head.

Most women who experience androgen linked hair loss resemble one of three patterns identified by the Ludwig Hair Loss Chart of female pattern baldness. An easy explanation of the Ludwig Scale is to describe Grade I as mild hair loss, Grade II as moderate hair loss, and Grade III as extensive hair loss. Women who have hair loss in one of the Ludwig’s patterns usually maintain a good hairline. The hair behind the hairline gets sparse or. It is uncommon for women to thin beyond a Ludwig Grade II, and very rare for complete baldness to occur.

Ludwig Hair Loss Chart

Treatment Options Offered by Dr. Friedman

For women, there are two main treatment options which seem to work best:

  1. Hair Transplantation specifically designed for women.
  2. Non-surgical, low level light therapy, also called laser therapy, which can be done in our office, or with the help of an FDA approved Capillus laser cap. In our experience, women, more than men, respond well with this form of treatment.

Temporary Hair Loss

When female hair loss is caused by genetics, hormones, or aging, treatment options become obvious. However, if you are suffering from temporary hair loss, only a qualified dermatologist can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the best course of treatment. Women, much more than men, are susceptible to the non-genetic, non-hormonal causes of hair loss. Common causes of this type of hair loss can be:

  1. Severe stress
  2. Iron deficiencies
  3. Prescription medication
  4. Illness/disease
  5. Thyroid problems
  6. Traction Alopecia
  7. Other

Whether you are suffering from permanent or temporary hair loss, we invite you to meet with Arizona Hair Loss Expert Dr. Shelly Friedman for a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis. By taking into account your family history, medical history, combined with a thorough examination, Dr. Friedman can get to the root of your problem [pun intended] and plan an appropriate course of treatment.

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